CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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INTERNET!!! Marilyn and I -- We're BACK!!!

It's a long story. For several weeks I've had issues with the light switch in my bathroom. (sigh) Scary, in some ways! I saw sparks fly from the old switch on occasion (!!!), so it really DID need to be fixed! Anyway, Marilyn finally got on me to get it taken care of. We'd discussed it more than once, so it was bad that I hadn't done anything...

I could have gone to an electrician, but instead I went to our amazing neighbor (and friend) Jim (June's hubby). In fact, I actually went over (yesterday) to June and Jim's house to ask if he thought he could help me out.

An aside: For their wedding anniversary, June and Jim got a new beautiful rug for their living room. It's LOVELY!!! I had to take off my shoes and walk on it, because it was SO SOFT and thick. Wonderful! June showed it to me while I was at her house.

Jim was working on another task, but he came over not long after to look at the bad switch. Then he went after supplied and finally he worked on it. And it's now fixed and works great!!! So, what does this have to do with us losing our internet connection???

Well, naturally we needed to shut off the power to the bathroom while Jim worked. I went to the switch book (electrical box) that's located downstairs in Marilyn's walk-in closet. I figured it would be clearly marked and no problem to shut off the correct one. Right. I was so wrong! You'd think one of them would have been marked 'bathroom' or 'upstairs bath' or something. No way. So I shut off several until we located the right one. And that means I shut off stuff that shouldn't have been shut off -- like the power to our home office and to the room where our SECURITY ALARM SYSTEM is plugged in (sigh).

After Jim finished up I turned everything back on. Then I messed with the ADT alarm. We've been through that before, I'm afraid! We had an unplanned power outage when the power company was working on something -- and it ended up giving us a false alarm that we had to PAY FOR (not a good thing). So I did get on the phone with them to make sure all was well (after messing around with the physical alarm).

Then Marilyn and I notice almost immediately that we're not able to get connected with our iPads (sigh). So I go up to the office to check on things. Our computers have restarted and seem to be fine. But they aren't connected to the internet, either. The first thing I do is recycle power to our router, which appears to be working fine -- but we're still not connected. Then I go to the modem from CenturyLink and discover we're only showing the power light -- and it's red (not a good thing). Recycling and resetting it do no good -- it's clearly shot. But I do phone CenturyLink right away, just to make sure... That was the first of five calls that took many hours yesterday.

Eventually I find out I can buy a new modem at Best Buy -- which seems like a good thing, as I want to go there to buy a couple of other things, anyway. I take the brand (Actiontek) and model number and phone the Best Buy we like to go to -- they don't have the model in stock. I start phoning a bunch of Best Buy stores -- no go with ANY of them! I phone CenturyLink again, sure that another store had been mentioned (that I hadn't written down in my copious notes) and finally find out that Walmart sells the modem. I start calling (and calling and calling) various Walmarts -- they have other models, but not the original one. My CenturyLink support person is on the line with me (I'm talking to her on the house phone and calling stores on my cell phone) the entire time. By now she's given me TWO options for models I could use. Nobody seems to have these!

Finally I get off with her and just keep calling stores. I reach one of the Walmarts where we shop all the time: I get a guy in electronics who clearly is saavy -- and he tells me the model I'm asking for isn't current. But he has the current model there in stock!

I phone CenturyLink back to confirm this model number will work -- I'm told yes. So now Marilyn and I drive to the St. Helens Walmart to buy the modem. The first guy we talk to tries to talk us OUT of getting the model we've come for -- saying it's cheaper to get another modem plus a router (like we've always had before). Another guy interrupts -- he's the guy I originally talked to and he says to go with the modem we talked about on the phone. We want the modem with the built-in wifi (!!!) and don't care that it costs twice as much as the other ones. After all, we've always had to constantly recycle the power to our router, so omitting the router sounds good to us.

Back home I start the process to install the new modem. Here's the deal -- I don't know about anybody else, but our office is TIGHT. We've got two computers in there, a piece of furniture holding our printer, file cabinets all over, a big dresser full of supplies and photos, a desk and more. And cords everywhere!!! It's NOT easy to move the furniture to get behind it to where things are plugged in and connected -- and that's an understatement! I got bunged up moving stuff and crawling all over the floor and behind things. At one point I was stuck between two pieces of furniture!!!

Anyway, I get things hooked up and then start the process. I've been telling each support person that I have experience with IT, so one of these people has given me the steps to do this. Yeah, instructions come with the modem, but I get to skip stuff (thankfully!) by having my notes from her.

But it's NOT working. So I call CenturyLink again (and again and again). I finally get someone and keep him and he helps me out for an hour an a half. No go. Marilyn and I are facing the three-day weekend with no internet! Oh no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It turns out they can send out a tech to the house on Saturday, so we set up an appointment. If the problem is outside the house, no charge -- inside the house, it's $85. We really don't care at this point, we just want INTERNET!!! And we're feeling pretty happy that they have Saturday appointments.

Robin was our tech today -- and she was here for an hour an a half. Anyway, we've now got a working modem (!!!). So the last step is the setup I tried to start last night. Funny thing? I'd been worried that I didn't have the correct password. (I keep records carefully and forever, just so you know. I've got our paperwork from when we FIRST got our account...) The password just doesn't seem to be working, so I phone CenturyLink again. This is another long conversation, but we finally get things reset and my password works again and the modem gets set up...

Then we need to set up the wifi on the modem -- and happily this goes well. Now we have a pre-assigned name for our wifi (we don't get to select one) -- but I did set up a password. This is WONDERFUL, because we haven't had a locked wifi before this. (Very long, long story. Short version, even when we paid quite a bit, the tech couldn't get a password to work with our router, so we gave up on it. We just lived with an open wifi -- and we could tell that some neighbors were 'borrowing' our wifi on a regular basis.)

So about 24 hours later, we were BACK online. (woo hoo)

The new modem WORKS GREAT. I can't even begin to say how well!!! Much better than before.

I was setting up just before Angel arrived. We had a date to go out with Angel to belatedly celebrate his July birthday. So we went out to the Burrito House (one of our fave places to eat) and had dinner with ice cream. They brought the sombrero and sang to him -- it was perfect! Great fun!

I also spent a lot of the day reading on my Kindle paperwhite -- always great!

That's my HAPPY Saturday. Still 'testing' the new modem to see how much BETTER our internet connection is -- and it's quite an improvement! Loving it...

Tags: 2013, angel, august-2013, bathroom, burrito-house, centurylink, dinner, electrical, food, internet, jim, june-and-jim, kindle-paperwhite, marilyn, mexican-food, modem, qwest, reading, setup, shopping, walmart

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